🇬🇧A draft EU Parliament report published today would ban anonymous payments and donations in #cryptocurrencies such as #Bitcoin & #Ethereum. The stated aim to tackle money laundering and terrorism is only a pretext to gain more control over personal data.


@echo_pbreyer I usually agree with you. Not this time.

This is not as clear-cut as it seems to be.

Cryptocurrencies (especially the "privacy coins") are not a cash replacement, the power dynamics are different because cash has friction when used in huge amounts that cryptocurrencies lack.

This makes cryptocurrencies (and esp. "privacy coins") way more useful for organized crime, corrupt politicians, and the superrich, than cash could ever be.

The power dynamics are *opposite* to those in case of cash.

@echo_pbreyer let me say this differently: where cash is a boon to private citizens in preserving their privacy from the rich and powerful, cryptocurrencies (esp. privacy coins) are a boon to the rich and powerful in making it more difficult to hold them to account.

The "cryptocurrencies = digital cash" false equivalence is a sham. Be careful what you support.

@rysiek @echo_pbreyer Nonsense. Electronic cash is the same as cash for all intents and purposes, and it's much easier to have HSBC launder your fiat money than it is to launder billions of EUR in cryptocurrency. You do actually have to get in and out of something like Monero if you intend to do that, because you're not going to be able to spend that in XMR or want to keep that in XMR. Which means it *is* perfectly detectable for the worst offenders, while this law would violate privacy for all.

@raucao @echo_pbreyer "cash" and "HSBC laundering" are two different things. You have to get that cash to HSBC somehow first, and that's exactly where the friction of hauling huge amounts of cash hits the hardest.

It then becomes traceable, even if with considerable difficulty. Consider: Panama Papers, Paradise Papers, and other such leaks.

(disclosure: I worked for an investigative journalism organization that was involved in publishing these leaks)

@rysiek @raucao @echo_pbreyer You are trying to argue that individuals do not benefit from using bitcoin privately, with individuals who benefit from using bitcoin privately.

@sharperguy @raucao @echo_pbreyer I never argued that. Obviously individuals might benefit from using cryptocurrencies. My worry is about who benefits the most, and in what way.

In case of physical cash, the benefits (privacy and untracability of transactions) are squarely on the side of people using small cash payments. Which is great!

In case of privacy coins, these benefits might be more on the side of the super-rich or corrupt, who might be trying to hide their wealth from accountability. Less great.

@rysiek @sharperguy @echo_pbreyer Show me a method of getting 10 million EUR cash into a privacy coin without buying BTC first (and even that's a challenge), today or within the week.

With cash, that's fairly easy for a 10% fee.


@raucao @sharperguy @echo_pbreyer I have trouble parsing your question. You are asking me to show you a way to get 10mln EUR in cash into privacy coins, and then you say it's fairly easy with cash? Really not sure what you're asking me to do here.

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@rysiek @sharperguy @echo_pbreyer Sorry, had to edit. It's easy with cash to cash, not easy with cash to e.g. XMR.

@rysiek @sharperguy @echo_pbreyer ... and by "fairly easy" I merely mean possible with the right connections, not easy for us two schmocks, of course.

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